FOREST PARK, Queens - DNA on a beer bottle led the NYPD to an arrest in a 2013 sexual assault case in which a female jogger was raped in a Queens park, and the suspect is believed to be connected to a series of attacks in the same area.
The arrest of 45-year-old Mark Andrade of Richmond Hill, Queens, was announced Thursday. He's charged with one count of rape in a March 29, 2013, attack in Forest Park.
Police said Andrade's DNA was on a beer bottle that he pulled out of his back pocket and threw while the victim was struggling with him. Detectives retrieved the bottle as part of the crime scene and obtained DNA from it, but there was no immediate match.
Fast forward to a week ago, when police were alerted to a hit on that DNA. Andrade was arrested in Nassau County on Long Island for insurance fraud on July 21. Since he was incarcerated, a sample of his DNA was taken and came up came up as a match in the database. The victim in the case was also able to help identify him.
"I will tell you we have been working this case straight since 2013. We never really lost sight of it," Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.
NYPD officials said they expect to charge Andrade in some of the other attacks in the park, which occurred on bridle paths between March 2011 and August 2013. The victims were all female joggers, ranging in age from 13 to 69. A stun gun was also used in several of the attacks, according to police. DNA was obtained from two of the attacks.
Here are the details from those attacks:
- 3/25/2011 (Friday) at 11:30 a.m. -- Victim was 54-year-old woman jogging on bridle path
- 9/7/2011 (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. Victim was 13-year-old girl jogging on bridle path
- 8/15/2012 (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. Victim was 34-year-old woman jogging on bridle path
- 11/28/2012 (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. Victim was 40-year-old woman walking her dog on bridle path
- 3/29/2013 (Friday) at 7 p.m. Victim was 24-year-old woman jogging on bridle path
- 8/26/2013 (Monday) at 4:30 p.m. Victim was 69-year-old woman jogging on bridle path
The suspect has six prior arrests, none of which were for sex crimes and would not have caused his DNA to be added to a database. The last arrest caused that to happen, and it's what ultimately led to his arrest.